Blog

A2LA Accredited ilac-MRAA2LA Accredited

Toll Free: (866) 466-6225     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

InnoCal Blog

Information about keeping your instruments running accurately

Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Electronics

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ron-Weiser.gifWith more than 30 years of metrology experience, Ron Weiser knows a few things about calibrating electronic instruments such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, power supplies, flowmeters, and megohmmeters. For instance, he can tell you how calibration has changed.

“I began my career repairing and calibrating RF test equipment,” said Ron. ”Calibration used to mean going through the adjustment procedure and checking a couple of points.” Of course, now calibration—and the instruments being calibrated—are both much more sophisticated.

Yet, Ron’s love for the process has not changed. “Every day I keep learning more about the equipment we calibrate. I also enjoy going on-site to facilities and meeting the customers in person,” he said.

Not too much beats metrology for Ron, but he does like to grill when he leaves the calibration lab.

Learn more about InnoCal’s calibration services for electronic equipment. For support or any questions, contact us.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
3

Posted by on in Electronics

When your process relies on a portfolio of equipment—pressure gauges, flow control, electronics, temperature instruments—to keep it running, the effectiveness of this equipment directly impacts your budget.
b2ap3_thumbnail_ProcessManufacturing.gif

If temperature readings are off, even slightly, the product you are manufacturing can be flawed or ruined. When pressure or flow instruments are malfunctioning, your production efficiency suffers. At its most severe, these process instruments can even cause your line to shut down if they are impaired.

For electronics components and equipment, both quality and safety suffer when they are inaccurate or even out of order.

To keep equipment operating precisely and sustain control over production output, stick to a regular calibration cycle for each instrument. Servicing part of your process equipment but not all of it leaves gaps in the quality of your operation. Maintain a log of when equipment is due for repair or calibration or reference the information supplied by your calibration provider.

InnoCal conducts calibration and repairs on process equipment. Plus InnoTrak™ software maintains all of your calibration certificates so that you don’t have to; they are ready for you during audits.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Mechanical

In the electronics, plastics, construction, and chemical industries—or any in which push/pull measurements are required—a digital or mechanical force gaugeb2ap3_thumbnail_TorqueandForce.gif helps determine a product’s strength.

These tools are used by manufacturers and material testers particularly in new product development and design. Textiles manufacturers may test the strength of cloth or packagers may determine the reliability and stability of their containers with these devices. The products they are manufacturing need to be able to stand up to repeated use and meet the requirements of their intended purposes.

With critical applications like these, it is essential that compression and tension measurements are accurate. Maintaining this accuracy requires regular calibration. This ensures that the products in development are produced at a high, consistent level of quality.

From force gauges to torque wrenches to torque testers to durometers, InnoCal has the calibration standards to keep your torque and force equipment operating correctly.

InnoCal's environmentally-controlled laboratory has been evaluated by A2LA and confirmed for technical competency.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Air & Fluid Quantities

Measuring pH tells you how acidic or basic (alkaline) your solution is. Biochemists and food industry scientists measure the pH of food, dairy, and beverage products for quality. In industries such as oil refining, textiles, and paper and printing, pH measurement is an integral part of processes that produce the end product. Outside of the lab and the manufacturing plant, monitoring the pH of water and wastewater is essential in environmental control. According to the EPA, “measuring alkalinity is important in determining a stream's ability to neutralize acidic pollution from rainfall or wastewater.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_calm_water_by_pier.gifConductivity tests a solution’s ability to conduct electrical current and serves as a quick and simple indicator of water quality and purity. Conductivity measures the ionic content in a solution and is assessed for pharmaceutical waters, boiler water, fermentation, and public water supplies. Conductivity can also indicate how much pollution is in rainwater and rivers.

Testing the Tools: Are Your Readings Correct?

Described by Lab Manager as a mainstay of laboratories, pH meters commonly test the pH of solutions while conductivity meters, resistivity meters, and sometimes multiparameter meters typically measure conductivity. If you’re losing confidence in your pH or conductivity readings—and it’s not an issue with the electrodes or environmental factors such as static electricity—it may be time for meter calibration.

At an ISO17025-accredited calibration lab, your meter will be tested to the manufacturer’s accuracy at standard test points or to those of your choosing. Electronic calibrators, ISO Guide 34-accredited pH and conductivity solutions, and high-accuracy temperature standards are used to ensure that your meter is restored to full precision, or, in some cases, recommended for replacement.

InnoCal is the only authorized ISO17025-accredited calibration lab for Oakton®, Accumet®, Thermo Scientific, and Orion® pH meters. We maintain a full fleet of electronic calibrators, ISO Guide 34-accredited pH and conductivity solutions and high-accuracy temperature standards.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Environmental Monitoring

Certain work and industrial environments involve processes that have the potential for gas leakage, which may be harmful. According to Health and Safety International, “The most common gases produced are carbon monoxide, chlorine, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, and flammable substances. Typically, these gases are found in the production of iron and steel, chemicals and petrochemicals, oil refining, natural gas sourcing, refrigeration and water treatment.”b2ap3_thumbnail_GasDetectionCalibration.gif

Instruments that can sense these escaping gas fumes include gas detectors or gas monitors and gas analyzers. Specifically, gas detectors alert you to conditions outside normal parameters with an alarm. Gas analyzers can sense the concentration or quantity of a gas within a mixture of gases.

To remain effective, these gas detection instruments must be calibrated regularly. Calibration drift can occur due to normal sensor degradation, exposure to extreme temperature and humidity conditions, exposure to high levels of the target gases, and harsh storage and handling conditions such as being dropped or submerged in liquid.

Ensure worker safety by having your gas detector or gas analyzer calibrated by factory-trained technicians to verify proper operation.

How to Have your Gas Detector Serviced by InnoCal:

1. Call Customer Service 866-InnoCal (866-466-6225) with the following information:
• Model name
• Serial number
• Contact name, telephone number, and e-mail address
• Shipping address
• Billing address

2. Receive:
• Shipping instructions
• Decontamination form to ensure your instrument can be safely received at InnoCal
• Authorization number

3. Pack your instrument securely:
• Package your instrument with the decontamination form provided by customer service
• Label your package with the authorization number and ship to the address provided to you

InnoCal’s specially trained technicians test your gas detector with a known concentration of gas. Find out more about these NIST-Traceable calibrations.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Air & Fluid Quantities

As Group Leader for Customer Returns, April Buckley is a problem solver and a customer advocate. “I often have to solve problems or help answer questions,” she said. “I look at each question like a puzzle and I love to solve puzzles. I am constantly thinking about how to solve the next one.”
b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4755.gif

While not technically a metrologist, April’s more than 20 years of experience in satisfying customers serves InnoCal customers well. “We work hard for customers,” she explained. “We’re happy to help in any way we can, whether it is providing a quote, processing a service return, or resolving an issue. Above all else, we think about customers first. “

When she pulls herself away from the phones and the computer screen, April can often be found in front of another screen. “I like to play video games, mainly massively multiplayer online games (MMO’s) such as Guild Wars® 2 and Lord of the Rings Online™ (LOTRO),” she said. This, of course, is only when she is not out walking in the forest preserves with family, friends, and her pooch.

As an InnoCal customer champion for four years, April’s days are filled with navigating calibration and repair orders, phone follow-ups, and creative solutions to meet or exceed customers’ expectations. Yet, she is pleased that her role is people-intensive. “I like that I get to interact with a lot of people,” she said.

If you have a question for InnoCal’s customer service or need support, let us know.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Electronics

Test time-varying currents or signals with oscilloscopes, which measure and observe changes in these electronic currents. The display on the instrument shows variations in currents from small to very large. For critical equipment and processes that rely on consistent signals, a well-functioning oscilloscope is a necessary troubleshooting instrument.b2ap3_thumbnail_Oscilloscope.gif

Engineers, physicists, research scientists, mechanics, electronic technicians, and even health care workers use oscilloscopes for different purposes. Electronic design teams and test teams in the semiconductor, aerospace, and wireless industries employ these scopes to debug designs.

According to Fluke, “any number of factors can lead to spurious signals that may cause equipment to suddenly drop out for no apparent reason. Some of these are equipment related, for example, defective circuitry, dry solder joints, dust or corrosion and overheating. Others such as main fluctuations and voltage spikes due, for example, to airco systems switching on, are related to the mains supply.”b2ap3_thumbnail_Fluke.gif

Begin tracing the source with electronic test equipment such as benchtop or handheld oscilloscopes. Portable oscilloscopes now combine rugged portability with the performance of bench models. Measure input, output, and feedback signals to diagnosis the electronics. To keep your production powered and running properly, make sure your oscilloscopes and other test equipment are themselves taking accurate readings by maintaining regular calibration intervals.

InnoCal can calibrate oscilloscopes up to 1.1 GHz. We also offer electronic calibration capabilities such as AC – DC Low VoltageHigh Voltage and Resistance and Temperature Simulation.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Mechanical

Measuring the blood pressure in your body is an important indicator of your health. Similarly, assessing pressure in flow measurements and automatic control loops ensures that operating conditions are effective and efficient. Temperature, pressure, and flow are significant parameters for many process applications.

b2ap3_thumbnail_PressureCalibrations.gifFrom pressure gauges to transducers to manometers to pressure meters, many formats are available for measuring pressure. Common to all of them, though, is the need for calibration to ensure the accuracy of their readings. Many manufacturers miss or extend calibration intervals on pressure instruments. For example, with a large volume of pressure gauges in operation, some may be overlooked. This puts the quality of the product being manufactured—and perhaps the safety of the plant operation itself—at risk.

According to Fluke, pressure calibration is “the comparison of the output of a device used to measure pressure with that of another pressure measurement device, or pressure measurement standard. This usually involves plumbing the device under test to the standard device and generating a common pressure in the measurement circuit.”

To maintain the integrity of your pressure measurements, check calibration intervals for each device and arrange for regular calibrations.

InnoCal provides NIST-traceable calibration on nearly any pressure measuring or generating device--including pneumatic and hydraulic equipment. Our vast inventory of pressure calibrators allows us to test instruments in a shorter turnaround time. We respond whether you have one pressure calibrator or hundreds of pressure gauges or need on-site or off-site calibrations.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Mechanical

b2ap3_thumbnail_Manufacturing.gif

For manufacturers, keeping production efficient and maintaining profitability are necessary to stay in business. Whether the process or production line stalls or completely shuts down due to equipment that is out of calibration, the costs add up. The equipment used to produce goods must be accurate and precise to reduce the risk of failures.

Maintaining calibration intervals can be a type of preventative maintenance to ensure consistent accuracies. With regular calibration service that is NIST-traceable, the threat of production breakdowns diminishes.

Equipment Calibrations for Manufacturers

The following is a partial checklist of equipment that manufacturers’ use that may be due for calibration or should be part of a calibration program:
o    Flow such as flowmeters, flow controllers, and flow calibrators
o    Pressure including manometers, gauges, pressure meters, vacuum gauges, pressure calibrators, and more
o    Electrical/electronics such as oscilloscopes, multimeters, clamp meters, power supplies, calibrators, megohmmeters, temperature controllers, panel meters, and more
o    Temperature/humidity including transmitters and data loggers, freezers, ovens, thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors, PRTs, humidity recorders, thermohygrometers, and more
o    Dimensional such as calipers, thickness gauges, indicators, and more
o    Other: vibration meters

For information on InnoCal’s solutions for manufacturers, call or 866-466-6225 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. InnoCal can also assist you in your lean efforts to reduce vendors.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Thermodynamics

With 16 years of experience in metrology, Elaine Yonkus knows how to calibrate. Her specialties include liquid-in-glass thermometers, digital thermometers and systems, data loggers, sub sieve sizer tubes, and refractometers. To enhance her expertise, she recently added sound meter calibrations to her portfolio as well.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Elaine_Yonkus_Image.gifElaine learned her craft from the ground up, beginning with glass thermometers, and has enjoyed seeing the end results of her work. “I like knowing that I may be helping people in the process,” she said. “Glass thermometers are used to regulate blood samples, to create sweet treats in bakeries and chocolate companies, and even to produce oil. It is fun to see where the next item I might be calibrating comes from.”

While calibration is close to her heart so is traveling. “My passion is traveling wherever I can go. I also enjoy being outdoors, especially when it involves walking or golfing. And, of course, I delight in spending time with family and friends,” she said.

For her calibration customers, Elaine strives to complete her thermometer calibrations as quickly as possible. She knows these are important instruments for most laboratory and process applications. Although sometimes it isn’t as simple as it seems, she puts her experience to work to deliver the best.

Find out more about thermometer and temperature calibrations

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Environmental Monitoring

Anemometers measure wind speeds or air movement. These “spinning” instruments are a common site in environmental monitoring; you will see them from the Arctic to weather stations in the tropics. Beyond every day weather measurements, they are used commercially for gas-flow applications and within air ducts to test ventilation. Anemometers also contribute to industry and technology. Laser anemometers help engineers determine the wind speed surrounding aircraft, automobiles, and other vehicles. In academia, anemometers teach students about physics.

Manometers measure fluid pressure and, along with a pitot tube, test HVAC air flow to analyze balance and performance. Another form of manometer, the micromanometer, measures very small differences in pressure and may or may not include a data logger.

To meet the demands of a variety of uses, these air velocity instruments need regular calibration. Like other instruments in this category, including weather stations and capture hoods, NIST-traceable calibration helps them deliver accurate readings that produce reliable data. A metrology laboratory with an air velocity lab that uses advanced wind tunnel technology will help these instruments provide some of the industry’s best measurements.

InnoCal’s ISO17025 accredited services are audited by A2LA for high technical competency in vane and hot-wire anemometer and manometer calibrations. The lab also calibrates the humidity, barometric pressure, and carbon dioxide functions of air velocity devices. Find out more.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Thermodynamics

Infrared technology is exploding in the various ways it is used and its future potential. From assessing heat leakage in homes to crime-fighting surveillance to healthcare applications, this technology is continually expanding to meet more and more needs. Recently, Phys.org even reported that “the government’s long-term goal for infrared technology is to remotely detect the exact materials, chemicals and gases coming and going from factories or other sites suspected of illegal nuclear production.”b2ap3_thumbnail_Infrared-Technology.gif

With such important aspirations, it is paramount to keep infrared instruments functioning well. Even if you use your infrared thermometer for food preparation or diagnostics and inspection, you need reliable readings to make the correct adjustments.

To depend on the readings that appear on infrared displays, the instruments must be calibrated at regular intervals to NIST- traceable standards. NIST establishes the scales for transmittance, reflectance, and emittance of materials in the infrared spectral region and maintains absolute radiometric scales, among other objectives of their Infrared Technology Group.

Whether you use a thermal imager, infrared calibrator, or infrared thermometer, the technicians calibrating these instruments should have specialized training in infrared measurements. Leading calibration laboratories, such as InnoCal, employ trained metrologists who use radiometrically calibrated gray-body calibrators to correct for emissivity and heat loss uncertainties.

For infrared technology, make sure your instrument readings are as accurate as they should be. You never know how you will use this versatile technology next.

InnoCal calibrates infrared thermometers, infrared pyrometers, infrared calibrators, infrared transmitters, thermal imagers, and visual infrared thermometers. For more information, contact us.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

Posted by on in Thermodynamics

As the director of an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited metrology lab, Brandon Wold has experienced his share of panic phone calls and quick consultations with plant managers and quality managers. Their production has slowed or ceased due to a lack of a calibration program or key instruments that are out of calibration. For one, a smelting operation that melted old iron and pressed it into large sheets as new steel, receiving a complaint from their largest customer about the quality of their product prompted an investigation. Operations leaders determined that their temperature instruments were out of calibration and their heating process simply was not hot enough.

How Often to Calibrate?Temperature Calibration

While typical calibration cycles are suggested according to industry standards, these intervals are set within the facility based on the production needs, instrument usage, and applications. In some cases, it may make sense to change or extend a cycle. In other cases, it may prove short-sighted.

"Intervals may move from a one-year calibration cycle to a five-year cycle to reduce costs but risk management needs to be taken into consideration,” said Wold. “Ultimately, to minimize the risk of having to do an impact analysis—for products that were measured with a temperature instrument that was out of calibration—and subsequently initiating a product recall, it may be best to stick to a proven calibration cycle.”

InnoCal designs calibration solutions, which may include making monthly or annual visits, setting up a calibration cycle, conducting an asset review, or reviewing calibration procedures. They also provide technical support including info about industry norms, military procedures, or proper calibration techniques. When necessary, service may be expedited to meet specific needs.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
0

InnoTrak calibration report management system

Blog Archive

Meet your regulatory and compliance needs

Our Partners

Cole-Parmer Oakton

 

Environmental Express Digi-Sense

 

Masterflex  Davis Instruments

Contact Us

InnoCal Solutions Vernon Hills, IL headquarters Contact us now

Call or email:
(866) 466-6225
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Address:
InnoCal Solutions
625 East Bunker Court
Vernon Hills, IL 60061